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The Ultimate Guide to Puppy Grooming

Bringing a new puppy into your home is an exciting and joyful experience. As a responsible pet owner, one of your crucial responsibilities is ensuring your furry friend stays healthy and happy. Puppy grooming plays a significant role in maintaining your puppy’s well-being, fostering a strong bond, and keeping them looking their best. In this guide, we’ll cover essential tips and tricks for effective and stress-free puppy grooming.

Start Puppy Grooming Early:

The key to successful puppy grooming is to start early. Introduce your puppy to grooming tools, such as brushes, combs, and nail clippers, from a young age. This helps them become accustomed to the grooming process and reduces anxiety as they grow older.

Puppy Brushing Basics:

Dog grooming, Dog shedding. Tips on Shedding Regular brushing is essential for your puppy’s coat health. The frequency of brushing depends on the breed and coat type. Long-haired breeds may require daily brushing, while short-haired breeds may only need it once a week. Invest in a high-quality brush suitable for your puppy’s coat type to remove loose hair, prevent matting, and promote a shiny, healthy coat.

Puppy Bathing Tips:

puppy bath Puppies generally don’t need frequent baths, as excessive bathing can strip their skin of natural oils. When it’s time for a bath, use a mild puppy shampoo and make sure to rinse thoroughly. Use a non-slip mat in the tub to keep your puppy safe, and be gentle to make the experience positive.

Puppy Nail Care:

puppy paw Trimming your puppy’s nails is crucial to prevent discomfort and potential injuries. Use a dog nail clipper and trim the tips, being careful not to cut into the quick. If you’re unsure, consult your veterinarian or a professional groomer for guidance. Regular nail trims also help your puppy become accustomed to the process.

Puppy Ear Cleaning:

Puppies with floppy ears, in particular, may be prone to ear infections. Check your puppy’s ears regularly for dirt, wax, or redness. Use a gentle ear cleaning solution and a cotton ball to clean the ears, but avoid inserting anything into the ear canal. If you notice any signs of infection, consult your vet.

Puppy Dental Care:

dog, teeth brushing Oral health is often overlooked but is crucial for a puppy’s overall well-being. Brush your puppy’s teeth regularly using a dog-friendly toothbrush and toothpaste. Dental chews and toys can also help maintain good oral hygiene and prevent dental issues.

Positive Reinforcement:

dog with dog biscuit treat Make grooming a positive experience for your puppy by using treats and praise. Reward them during and after grooming sessions to create a positive association. This will make future grooming sessions more enjoyable and less stressful for both you and your puppy. Puppy grooming is a vital aspect of responsible pet ownership. By starting early, using the right tools, and incorporating positive reinforcement, you can ensure your puppy grows up to be a happy, healthy, and well-groomed companion. Remember to consult your veterinarian or a professional groomer if you have any concerns or need guidance on specific grooming practices for your puppy’s breed. Learn all the essentials for successfully caring for and raising your puppy via The Essential Guide to Puppy Care: Nurturing Your Furry Bundle of Joy and Puppy 101: A Quick-Start Guide to Caring for Your New Puppy Are you located near one of our pet hotels? … Leave your puppy’s grooming needs to our well-trained professionals. Book your puppy grooming appointment today.

Choosing the Right Puppy Daycare

Choosing the right puppy daycare is an important decision that can significantly impact your puppy’s well-being and development.

Here are some key factors to consider when selecting a puppy daycare:

Clean and Safe Facilities:

Visit potential daycare facilities to ensure they are clean, well-maintained, and secure. Safety is a top priority, so look for features like fenced play areas and trained staff.

Qualified and Caring Staff:

Professional staff members should have experience in handling puppies, understanding their needs, and managing group dynamics. A caring and attentive team contributes to a positive daycare experience.

Playgroup Size and Dynamics:

Inquire about the size and composition of playgroups. Ideally, groups should be organized based on size, age, and temperament to ensure a harmonious play environment.

Enrichment Activities:

Assess the variety of enrichment activities offered, such as toys, games, and interactive play. A well-rounded program contributes to mental and physical stimulation.

Health and Vaccination Policies:

Ensure that the daycare has clear health and vaccination policies in place. This is crucial for preventing the spread of illnesses and maintaining a healthy environment for all pups.

Pet Parent Testimonials:

Read online reviews and testimonials to gather additional feedback about the daycare.

Convenient Location and Hours:

Consider the location of the daycare in relation to your home or workplace. A convenient location makes drop-off and pick-up more manageable. Also, check the operating hours to ensure they align with your schedule and commitments.

Communication and Updates:

Inquire about the daycare’s communication practices. A good daycare should provide updates on your puppy’s activities and well-being. Ask if they have a system for notifying owners about any incidents or concerns that may arise during the day.

Cost and Services:

Understand the cost structure and what services are included. Some daycares may offer additional services such as grooming or training. Compare prices and services to ensure they align with your budget and the level of care you expect for your puppy.

Puppy daycare is more than just a service for busy pet owners; it’s an investment in your puppy’s overall well-being. From fostering socialization to providing mental and physical stimulation, a well-chosen daycare can contribute significantly to your pup’s happiness and development. By understanding the benefits and selecting the right facility, you can unleash the full potential of your furry companion and set them on a path to a fulfilling and joyful life.

Learn all the essentials for successfully caring for and raising your puppy via The Essential Guide to Puppy Care: Nurturing Your Furry Bundle of Joy and Puppy 101: A Quick-Start Guide to Caring for Your New Puppy

The Benefits of Puppy Daycare: A Happy and Social Pup

Welcoming a new puppy into your life is an exciting journey, but it also comes with responsibilities, including ensuring your furry friend is happy, healthy, and well-socialized. Puppy daycare is a fantastic option for pet owners with busy schedules or those seeking to provide their puppies with socialization opportunities. In this blog post, we’ll explore the benefits of puppy daycare and why it can contribute to a well-rounded and content canine companion.

Socialization Opportunities:

Puppy daycare offers a controlled and supervised environment for your pup to interact with other dogs. Socialization is crucial during a puppy’s early months to help them develop positive behaviors, communication skills, and proper play etiquette. Regular interactions with other puppies and trained staff at daycare contribute to a well-socialized and friendly adult dog.

Mental Stimulation:

cute puppy barking
Puppies are curious and full of energy, and they require mental stimulation to prevent boredom and undesirable behaviors. Puppy daycare provides a variety of activities and toys to engage your pup’s mind, keeping them entertained and preventing destructive behaviors that may arise from boredom.

Physical Exercise & Play:

puppies playing
A tired puppy is a happy puppy. Puppy daycare provides a structured environment where your furry friend can engage in supervised play and exercise. This not only helps them burn off excess energy but also contributes to their physical well-being, promoting a healthy weight and muscle development.

Puppy Self-Sooting Time:

A good puppy daycare will also carve out some important self-time. This is time for your puppy to relax on their own with a toy or treat. Also, this time is used to walk around – one-on-one – with a professional puppy daycare counselor to get accustomed to different sounds, smells and other important environmental stimulus. If your daycare is in the same facility as your pup’s place of grooming or other services, having them see and hear the noises of things, like a hair dryer, will help them not to develop any fears when they get a little older.

Professional Supervision:

puppy with counselor
Puppy daycares are staffed by trained professionals who understand canine behavior and can manage group dynamics. Having experienced supervisors ensures a safe and controlled environment for play, reducing the risk of injuries and conflicts among the puppies.

Consistent Routine:

Puppy daycare often follows a structured routine, including playtime, nap time, and feeding schedules (depending on how long your daycare sessions are and your puppy’s unique needs). Consistency is essential for a puppy’s well-being, and a regular routine helps them feel secure and comfortable in their environment. This can be especially beneficial for puppies who thrive on predictability.

Alleviates Separation Anxiety:

puppy
Puppies are known for forming strong bonds with their owners, and separation anxiety can be a common challenge. Puppy daycare allows your pup to spend time away from you in a positive and supervised setting, helping them become more comfortable with short separations and reducing anxiety.

Convenient for Busy Puppy Parents:

two puppies
For pet owners with demanding schedules, puppy daycare offers a convenient solution. Whether you have work commitments, appointments, or other responsibilities, knowing that your puppy is in a safe and engaging environment provides peace of mind.

Puppy daycare is more than just a convenience for busy pet owners; it’s an investment in your puppy’s overall well-being. From socialization and mental stimulation to physical exercise and professional supervision, the benefits of daycare extend far beyond the time your pup spends there. Consider enrolling your puppy in a reputable daycare to ensure they grow into a happy, well-adjusted, and sociable companion.

Learn all the essentials for successfully caring for and raising your puppy via The Essential Guide to Puppy Care: Nurturing Your Furry Bundle of Joy and Puppy 101: A Quick-Start Guide to Caring for Your New Puppy

Are you located near one of our pet hotels? … Our signature Puppy Play Group will allow your puppy to socialize with friends in a safe, supervised, and fun environment – designed just for them. Our Puppy Play Group Counselors are exceptional for both supervising play and training your puppy to be their best furry selves – from now into adult-dog-hood.

The Essential Guide to Puppy Care: Nurturing Your Furry Bundle of Joy

Bringing a new puppy into your life is an exciting and rewarding experience. These adorable furballs fill our days with giggles, love, and companionship. However, alongside the joy they bring, puppies also require proper care and attention to thrive. In this article, we will explore the key aspects of puppy care to ensure the wellbeing and happiness of your new addition.

Puppy Nutrition:

puppy eating from food bowl
A nutritious diet is crucial for a puppy’s growth and development. Consult with your vet or breeder to determine the appropriate food for your specific breed or mix. High-quality puppy kibble will typically contain the necessary nutrients in the right proportions. Also ensure that fresh water is always available.

 

Puppy Vaccinations and Veterinary Care:

puppy vet care, veterinarian
Just like human babies, puppies require a series of vaccinations to protect them against diseases such as rabies, distemper, and Parvo. Regular check-ups with a veterinarian are also essential to monitor their health, provide preventive care, and address any concerns promptly. Schedule an initial visit soon after bringing your puppy home and follow the recommended vaccination and check-up schedule.

Located near one of our pet hotels? … Our vet clinic partner offers monthly clinics, at our centers, for many of your pup’s vet care needs. Be sure to check our vet clinic schedule.

 

Puppy Exercise and Mental Stimulation:

two dogs running in grass, playing with toy
Puppies have boundless energy that needs to be channeled properly. Engaging them in physical activities like walks, playtime, and interactive toys are necessary to keep them fit and happy. Mental stimulation is equally important. Puzzle toys, obedience training, and socialization with other dogs and people contribute to a well-rounded puppy. Aim for a balance of both physical exercise and mentally stimulating activities. Learn more about The Benefits of Puppy Daycare and Choosing the Right Puppy Daycare

Located near one of our pet hotels? … Our signature Puppy Play Group offers all your pup’s exercise and mental stimulation needs to help them grow into a healthy, happy, well-rounded dog.

 

Puppy Hygiene and Grooming:

puppy
Maintaining your puppy’s hygiene is vital for their overall health. Regularly brush their coat to remove loose hair and prevent matting. Pay attention to dental care by brushing their teeth with a dog-specific toothbrush and toothpaste to prevent gum disease and tooth decay. Trim nails regularly and check ears for debris or infections. Bathing should occur when necessary, using puppy-friendly shampoo to avoid irritating their sensitive skin. Learn more on our blog post: The Ultimate Guide to Puppy Grooming

Located near one of our pet hotels and want to leave your puppy’s hygiene and grooming needs to our exceptional professionals? … Book a Puppy Grooming appointment with us today.

 

Puppy Socialization and Training:

puppies at daycareEarly socialization plays a significant role in shaping a puppy’s behavior and temperament. Introduce your pup to as many positive experiences, various environments, and different people and animals as possible. This will help build their confidence and ensure they grow up to be well-adjusted dogs. Basic obedience training is also essential for establishing boundaries, teaching commands, and reinforcing good behavior. Furthermore, a good puppy daycare program will integrate some self-soothing time for your puppy. Learn more about The Benefits of Puppy Daycare and Choosing the Right Puppy Daycare

Located near one of our pet hotels? … Our signature Puppy Play Group will allow your puppy to socialize with friends in a safe, supervised, and fun environment – designed just for them. Our Puppy Play Group Counselors are exceptional for both supervising play and training your puppy to be their best furry selves – from now into adult-dog-hood.

 

Puppy Safety and Puppy-Proofing:

puppy
Creating a safe environment for your puppy is crucial. Puppy-proof your home by removing any potential hazards, securing electrical cords, and blocking off areas that may contain toxic substances or plants. Ensure they are always supervised, especially when outside or in unfamiliar surroundings. Additionally, a secure fenced yard or leash training will prevent accidents or your puppy wandering off.

 

Welcoming a puppy into your life can be an incredibly rewarding experience, as long as you provide them with the proper care and attention they need. From nutrition to exercise, vaccinations to grooming, socialization to training, each aspect of puppy care contributes to their overall wellbeing. By committing to these responsibilities, you are fostering a strong and loving bond with your furry companion, ensuring a healthy and fulfilled life for them and countless joyful memories for you.)

Learn more about caring for your puppy with our Puppy 101 guide: Puppy 101: A Quick-Start Guide to Caring for Your New Puppy

Why the Word Allergy Makes Your Veterinarian Cringe

I bet you thought the words was “anal glands”, maybe “diarrhea”, “vomit” or maybe even “pus”. Nope. It is allergies. Why? Read on to find out the Four Reasons Why.

First of all, what is an allergy?

An allergy is a damaging immune response of the body to a substance which it is has become hypersensitive to.

What causes allergies?

FIRST REASON:

Your pet can be allergic to anything: pollen, fleas, grass, house dust mites, weeds, mildew, your cat, and even his own food. No, it doesn’t matter that he has been eating that same food his whole life. He can still develop an allergy to an ingredient in it.

How do I know my pet has allergies?

SECOND REASON:

Allergies can present in numerous ways. It can be runny eyes, sneezing, or face rubbing. It can also be more severe causing hives, welts, swollen face or the inability to breathe. But it can also run middle of the road with chronic ear infections, chronic infections between the toes, persistent foot licking, generalized itching and, yes, even doing the carpet scooting boogie.

Does your pet have any of the above symptoms? Then your pet could have allergies.

In order to diagnose allergies, other things must be ruled out. Does you pet have an autoimmune disease, a metabolic disorder, not properly groomed, or do you leave a wet collar on after swimming? Any of those things could present as a skin disorder and itching, but it may not be allergies. The best way to know if your pet has allergies is to discuss what is happening with your veterinarian. There are things they can do to help determine if it is allergy related like:

  • Blood tests for inhalant and environmental allergen
  • Food trials (and, no, a grain-free diet is not a food trial) to determine if your pet has allergies.

How are allergies in pets treated?

THIRD REASON:

There is not a one-size-fits-all treatment. There are numerous ways allergies can be treated. The treatment will depend upon the severity of the allergy and a collaborative discussion between you and your veterinarian on side effects, costs, and your ability to treat your pet.

  1. Simple allergies can be treated with over the counter antihistamines as directed by your veterinarian.
  2. More complex or severe allergies may require prescription pills or monthly injections. This treatment, until several years ago, was not available and has become a game changer to the allergy world providing pets with much needed relief.
  3. If your pet has a food allergy, then a special diet will be required.
  4. Lastly, there is the tried and true method of immunotherapy injections. These injections are specifically formulated to your pet’s individual allergens to build up their immune system as to not react as violently to the allergen when it is presented. It is along the same lines as humans who get allergy injections to desensitize their bodies.

Can allergies be cured?

FOURTH REASON:

Pet owners may have unrealistic expectations about allergies. Allergies are not something you cure! Please re-read that previous sentence. With the exception of sometimes immunotherapy over numerous years, allergies are not cured but managed. The goal is to have fewer and less severe reactions over the life of your pet. There are times where pollen count of your pet’s allergen may be higher than typical causing your pet to have a break through attack and to start scratching possibly developing a sore or secondary bacterial infection which then must be treated. There are some pets who do great on allergy management and never have a break through or problem. This doesn’t mean you stop treatment and when they start scratching again say “Well I stopped because they were cured but now there scratching again so it didn’t work.” Allergies require life long management.

 

Though pet allergies are difficult to pinpoint, the treatment of allergies has come a long way in the past years. It is important to be mindful of the symptoms and understand that the treatment might be lifelong and managed with medication or a special diet. Your veterinarian may cringe at the word, “allergy” due to its complexity and it being difficult to pinpoint, but they are the best to help identify a plan to help your pet thrive.

10 Questions And Answers About Dogs

woman with little white dog in grass

Have you ever wondered why your dog howls? Or why they bury bones in the backyard? Here are 10 questions and answers about dogs that you’ve always wanted to know!

1. Why do dogs wag their tails?

Most people have heard that dogs wag their tail when they’re happy, but this isn’t always the case. Dogs use their tails to communicate all of their emotions with humans, other dogs or even

2. Why does my dog lick me?

Dogs will often lick their owner or other people as they like the taste of their skin and as a sign of affection. For dogs, licking releases pleasurable endorphins and releases stress.

3. Why is chocolate bad for my dog?

Though chocolate is a tasty treat for humans, for dogs it is poisonous. Chocolate’s toxic component is theobromine. Dogs process theobromine very slowly, which allows for it to build up in their system to toxic levels. Different types of chocolate have different amounts of theobromine, but chocolate should always be out of reach of dogs.

4. Do dogs dream?

You may notice your dog twitching or emitting light barks in his sleep. And just like us, dogs dream and go through REM sleep, which is the cycle in which humans experience dreams. Vetstreet also found that puppies and older dogs usually dream more often than middle-aged dogs!

5. Why do dogs howl?

There are four main reasons for why dogs howl. Ancestry, communications, sickness or injury, and separation anxiety. Because dogs are related to wolves, they could still have the urge to howl. They might not even know why they’re doing it. Howling is a normal thing for dogs to do as long as it is not chronic, pervasive or invasive.

6. Why do dogs have wet noses?

Dog noses secrete a thin layer of moisture that helps to absorb scents. Then, they lick their nose, so they can essentially taste those scents. Having a wet nose is also one of the ways that dogs can regulate their body temperature.

7. Why do dogs have whiskers?

Dog whiskers have follicles at the base, which have nerves that send messages to the dog’s brain. Whiskers serve as receptors for important information, such as size, shape, and the speed of nearby objects, people, or animals.

8. Why do dogs eat grass?

Sometimes dogs will eat grass because they have an upset stomach, and sometimes they may just be craving essential nutrients that they’re not be getting in their regular diet. Generally speaking, most experts see no danger in letting your dog eat grass in small amounts (assuming there is no pesticides and chemicals in the grass). If your dog has a sudden increase in grass eating, there could be an underlying issue, that requires veterinary assistance.

9. Why do dogs chase their tails?

Also called ‘Whirling’, chasing one’s own tail is a natural behavior and a form of play for predator animals. As a puppy, chasing their tail can be a short-term cure for boredom or a way to gain attention. If your dog is chasing their tail as an adult, it may be part of a larger issue, like fleas, worms or even a behavioral problem (i.e. compulsive disorders).

10. Why do dogs bury their bones, food or other items?

Wild dogs used to bury their food to hide it and save for later so that other animals couldn’t get to it, but now that domesticated dogs have plenty of food, there are a few reasons why they’re still burying things. One reason could be instinct – Just because they’re domestic animals doesn’t mean that they lose the urge. The second reason could be that their owner is giving them too much food/toys and the dog wants to save it for later. Another reason could be that it is a game to them. If your dog wants your attention or is bored, they may steal valuable items from you (such as shoes or TV remotes) in order to get you to play with them.

Sources: Hills Pet, American Kennel Club, Cesar’s Way (Ref 1), Vetstreet, Live Science, Pet MD, Wonderopolis, and Cesar’s Way (Ref 2).

Why Does My Pet’s Breath Smell?

Dental health guidance provided by Dr. Sharon Davis, DVM

dog, vet, dental health, teeth cleaning

If you find that your dog or cat’s breath smells, it may be time to take the utmost care of your pet’s dental health.

Dental health: how important is it really?

Periodontal disease can lead to bacteria getting into your pet’s blood stream through their inflamed gums. These bacteria can wreck havoc on the body. They go to heart valves causing endocarditis and heart murmurs as well as travel to other organs seeding infection throughout the body.

Diseased teeth can lead to tooth root abscess and even infection in the jaw bone that can get so bad it can weaken the jaw bone enough to cause a fracture. All these things can be prevented with proper dental care.

Do you think it’s important now?

dog-teeth-check

Check out your pet’s teeth. If any of the following applies, your pet likely has dental disease.

1) You see brown build up on the teeth. Don’t forget to check the back teeth.

2) The gums bleed if you touch them with a cotton tip where the tooth touches the gum.

3) You touch one or more of your pet’s teeth and they move.

4) Your pet’s chew toy has spots of blood on it after chewing on it.

5) Your pet picks up a toy and drops it or doesn’t chew on the toys like before.

6) Your pet shy’s away from his head being petted when he used to enjoy it before.

7) Your pet’s breath can clear the room.

If you recognize any of these symptoms in your pet, have your pet examined by your veterinarian.

 

If your pet has mild dental tartar, you may be able to get away with just brushing the teeth with a pet approved toothpaste on a routine basis, but eventually almost all pets require a professional dental cleaning – just as you require professional dental cleanings.

If your pet already has evidence of dental disease and gingivitis, your pet requires a professional dental cleaning, or as veterinarians like to call it: a comprehensive oral health assessment and treatment (COHAT for short).

The sooner you get this done, the healthier your pet will be long term, and there will be decreased likelihood of needing extractions.

It is not a one and done for the life of your pet. Dental cleanings need to be done on a regular basis. The frequency depends on your pets breed, genetics, chewing habits and at-home care.

dog, teeth brushing

Brushing your pet’s teeth is easier if you start when they are young. Get them used to having your fingers in their mouth, lifting their lips and opening their mouths.

Brushing can be done with a special long handled dog toothbrush, a human tooth brush, a special designed finger cap brush or even just a piece of gauze wrapped around your finger. What you use will depend upon you and the size of your pet. It is important however to only uses specialized pet toothpaste as human toothpaste is harmful to your pet.

For a DIY pet toothpaste recipe that you can make and use at home, watch this “how to” video from Best Friends Pet Hotel:

Listen to the advice of the professionals and veterinarians to tell you when it is a time for a professional cleaning.

cat, dental health, teeth brushing

In small breed dogs it can be as early as one year of age or as late as 6 years of age in a large breed dog. Cats may require their first cleaning anywhere from 1 year to 8 years; a lot depends on their chewing habits, underlying medical conditions, and at-home care. The most important factor is: don’t wait until your pet is experiencing pain, infection and complications to get it done. It is important to be proactive with dental care. Your pet will thank you.

 

pet grooming, groomer, dog
Your local Best Friends Pet Hotel offers professional teeth brushing as part of our grooming services. Visit our Grooming webpage to learn more and book an appointment. Or call your local center with any questions.

vet care, vet clinic, vaccinations, Vetco, Best Friends pet Hotel
To learn more about veterinary care and monthly vet clinics (in partnership with Vetco) at SELECT local Best Friends Pet Hotel locations, visit our Vet Care webpage. Or call your local center with any questions.

Summer Pet Safety Checklist

As you and your pets enjoy all the fun and relaxation summer has to offer, we want to help you ensure your pet’s safety this summer with our Summer Pet Safety Checklist – brought to you by Best Friends Pet Hotel’s Veterinary Expert and Consultant, Dr. Sharon Davis, DVM.

1. Make sure your pet stays hydrated.

dog drinking water Your pet should have an unlimited supply of clean, fresh water at all times but especially in the summer. A pet, who does not, could seek other water sources like a puddle or pond that can contain deadly viruses like leptospirosis or toxic blue green alga.

2. Make sure the ground is not too hot for your pet’s paws before walking or playing.

dog giving paw to human If it is uncomfortable for you to walk barefoot on the asphalt, it is also uncomfortable for your pet. If you must walk your pet on concrete or asphalt during the summer, make sure it is early in the morning or at dusk when the surface is cooler. Before you go, try the five second rule. Apply the back of your hand to the surface you will be walking your pet on, if it is too uncomfortable for you to hold the back of your hand firmly against it for 5 seconds, then it’s too hot for your pet. This also applies to the concrete around your pool. If you notice your dog limping, then check the pads of the feet. If you see the skin peeling off or lifting up, please seek veterinary assistance.

3. Invest in a doggy life vest.

10 Summer Dog Safety Tips - To Beat The Heat Speaking of pools and water. It is a great way for your pet to cool off but believe it or not, not all dogs can swim. It is good to have a properly fitting doggy life vest on your dog around the pool and especially when boating. It can literally save a life.

4. Protect your pet from fleas and ticks.

cute dog laying on trail in forest Parasites!! Yeah, I said it! No one is a fan of fleas and ticks. Not only do they spread disease to you and your pets but also can causing itching, rashes and sores. Being on the offense is better here. Make sure you use flea and tick prevention for your pet year round. You will thank me later.

5. Protect your pet from mosquitos.

Let’s not forget our friend the mosquito. Mosquitoes transmit heart worm disease to your dog. Again being on the offense here is best medicine. Please use heartworm prevention on your pet year round. There are also products for dogs that will repel mosquitoes but that doesn’t mean you should forgo the heartworm prevention medication. It is just an added layer of protection.

6. Protect your pet from flies.

Since we are on an insect role, let’s talk about fly strike. Yes, I know it’s ugly. This is when your dog enjoys spending lots of time outside and those nasty biting flies start biting and sucking blood from your dog usually at the tip of ears causing crusts, scabs and oozing sores. Again prevention is the best medicine. If it’s fly biting season, keep your pets indoors as much as possible. There are also pet approved medications you can apply to your dog to deter the insects from biting.

7. Protect your pet from maggots.

Unfortunately, what comes after flies are maggots. Yes, you read that correctly. Flies lay these eggs in the wound of skin. When they hatch, they are maggots that feed off your pet and can cause an extensive life threatening infection. This frequently happens in long hair dogs who are accumulating feces on their fur usually because they are having bouts of diarrhea. If your pet is having loose stools, seek veterinary assistance and don’t leave your pet outside.

8. Don’t shave your pet for the summer.

dog bath soap bubbles on head Speaking of long hair, do not shave your pet! Yes your pet needs to be groomed to prevent matts, knots and sores but it does not need to be shaved to keep it cool in the summer. It is important to make sure your pet is brushed out by summer so that thick undercoat naturally sheds allowing your pet to keep its hair and remain cool. Pets fur/hair also protects it from the sun. Without this protection, your dog is susceptible to sun burns. What comes after sun burn? Skin cancer. No one wants that. Once again, prevention is key.

9. Protect your pet against heatstroke.

teenage boy with adopted dog Last but not least, heatstroke. The older or younger your pet, the more susceptible it is to heatstroke. Pets need to be provided an environment that allows them to get cool. Pets will naturally seek out a cooler place if they are feeling too warm, like digging that hole in the cool dirt under a tree to lie in. Never, ever leave your pet in a bright sunny location for extended period of time. Equally important NEVER leave your dog in a car during even a warm day, let alone hot, no matter how short of time – even if the windows are cracked. two dogs in backseat of car The temperature inside a car dramatically elevates within a couple of minutes causing a life threatening environment for your pet. vehicle temperatures for dogs It is better just to leave Fido at home if you need to run errands that he can’t go inside with you.

So get out and enjoy the summer months with your pet. Just remember prevention is the best medicine.

pet dad with dog playing fetch on beach

Microchipping Your Pets

dog lost in woods, microchip

Enhancing Pet Safety with Microchipping

Losing a pet can be distressing, whether your cat slips out and vanishes or your dog escapes from their collar and ventures into the wilderness. In these trying moments, you exert every effort to retrieve them, but their speed and determination often thwart your endeavors. The anxiety of a safe return grips you. Fortunately, microchipping is a valuable resource that can significantly increase your chances of reuniting with your beloved companion.

Microchipping emerges as a pivotal step to enhance pet safety, especially as the weather beckons pets outdoors. If your pet is not yet microchipped, delving into the procedure and coming to a scheduled VIP Petcare clinic, at your local Best Friends Pet Hotel, is a proactive measure.

Understanding Microchips

A microchip, a diminutive device akin to a grain of rice, is gently implanted beneath your pet’s skin. This minuscule marvel houses a unique identifier linked to your comprehensive contact information, securely stored in a database.

microchip, dog, cat

 

Microchip Implantation

microchip implanted, injection, dog, veterinarian

The process of implanting a microchip is straightforward and minimally invasive, often administered during a VIP Petcare clinic visit. Remarkably, anesthesia is not required. A state-licensed VIP Petcare veterinarian employs a hypodermic needle, akin to those used for vaccinations, to insert the microchip beneath your pet’s skin, typically between the shoulder blades. While your pet may experience a fleeting moment of discomfort, it is a small price to pay compared to the heartache of permanent separation.

Cost of Microchipping

VIP Petcare offers microchipping services at a reasonable cost of no more than $35, contingent on your location. Notably, this expense includes lifetime registration, sparing you from additional charges for storing your pet’s crucial data.

Reunification through Microchips

veterinarian checking chip under pet's / dog's skin

In the unfortunate event of your pet’s disappearance, animal shelters, rescue organizations, or veterinary facilities can swiftly locate the microchip using a scanner. With a quick wave of the scanner over your pet, it reads the chip’s frequency and reveals the unique ID number assigned to your pet. This invaluable information serves as a direct line to you, facilitating a swift reunion with your treasured companion. In fact, pets with microchips stand twice the chance of returning home if they are dogs, and over 20 times if they are cats.

However, having a microchipped pet is only part of the equation. Regularly verifying and updating your contact information in the database, accessible at www.petmicrochiplookup.org, is essential to ensure accuracy.

Empower yourself as a responsible pet owner by visiting an upcoming VIP Petcare clinic to have your pet microchipped. Your proactive step today could be the key to a joyful reunion tomorrow.

microchipping, cat, home

Come to an upcoming VIP Petcare clinic, and get your pet microchipped!

How to Prevent Heartworm Disease in Dogs and Cats

Heartworm disease in pets, as the name suggests, involves the infestation of the heart and pulmonary arteries by parasitic worms.

heartworm disease pets

Mosquitoes serve as the carriers responsible for transmitting this disease. It’s a sobering fact that no dog or cat is immune to heartworm disease, and infections have been documented in all 50 states. While mosquitoes tend to be more prevalent during the spring and summer, the risk of heartworm infection lingers throughout the year. Remarkably, it takes just a single mosquito bite from an infected carrier to transmit this perilous ailment to your pet. Although heartworm disease primarily affects dogs, its consequences are much more dire for feline companions. Heartworm disease can incite illness and, in severe cases, result in fatality.

The heartening news is that this disease is nearly 100% preventable!

heartworm disease dog cat

In dogs, heartworms take residence within the heart and its adjacent blood vessels, causing tissue damage that culminates in heart failure and pulmonary issues. In certain instances, these worms can obstruct significant blood vessels, leading to complications in other organs. Untreated, severe cases of heartworm disease can prove fatal. Signs of heartworm disease in dogs manifest as persistent coughing, fatigue, lethargy, labored breathing, weight loss, and abdominal distention.

While cats are less susceptible to heartworm infection, their systems exhibit heightened sensitivity to the disease. Even a minor infection can trigger severe illness or death. Cats afflicted by heartworm disease may display symptoms like coughing, gagging, respiratory distress, lethargy, weight loss, and, in some cases, sudden death.

Prompt veterinary attention is imperative if you notice any of these signs in your pet. However, it’s worth noting that heartworm disease can often progress without any observable clinical symptoms, underscoring the critical role of prevention and regular screening.

While heartworm disease is a formidable adversary, safeguarding your pet from it entails two straightforward steps:

Step 1: Pet Testing

heartworm blood test cat

Commence the defense against heartworm disease by subjecting your pet to testing. A simple blood test can determine whether your pet has been exposed to heartworm infection. If the test returns a positive result, your veterinarian may recommend further diagnostics, such as radiographs or ultrasound, to assess the extent of the disease.

Attend an Upcoming VIP Petcare clinic to conduct a heartworm test.

Step 2: Administer Preventative Medication

heartworm preventative medicine chews dog

The next phase of protection against heartworm disease involves the administration of preventative medication. Your veterinarian will customize the most suitable oral, topical, or injectable preventative for your pet. Many of these medications also offer protection against intestinal parasites. In most instances, year-round medication is advisable to ensure comprehensive protection.

What happens if your pet tests positive for heartworm infection?

Unfortunately, no safe cure exists for infected cats due to the severe side effects, such as blood clots, associated with treatment. Cats, in such cases, typically receive supportive care involving cage rest, oxygen therapy, and steroids. However, some instances of feline heartworm disease may naturally resolve.

For dogs, recent years have seen the emergence of safer and more effective products to combat heartworm infection. Nevertheless, the treatment process can provoke side effects, emphasizing the importance of follow-up veterinary visits and close monitoring.

Explore heartworm testing for your pet at our monthly VIP Petcare clinics conducted by state-licensed veterinarians. Consult your VIP Petcare veterinarians to learn how they can help fortify your pet’s protection.